July 27, 2005:
Tonight members of the U.S. House of Representatives pounded another
nail in the coffin of family farms and rural communities when they
voted for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Champagne
corks were popped in the executive suites of ADM, Cargill, and Con
Agra: they, along with other multinational corporations, are big
CAFTA winners. The vast majority of citizens in the U.S., the Dominican
Republic, and Central American countries are the losers.
Supporters have promised many benefits from CAFTA, including prosperity
and security for all countries bound by the agreement. However,
most of those same pledges were made during the North American Free
Trade Agreement (NAFTA) debate: and the results of NAFTA are dismal.
We fear that CAFTA’s passage will continue to intensify the
rural devastation that has sparked massive migration from rural
areas to cities and across borders. If that happens, we intend to
hold those who negotiated and those who voted for CAFTA accountable.
An increasing number of people in the U.S. and around the world
have realized that free trade must be replaced by fair trade. For
more than two years, a broad and massive coalition of citizens and
organizations concerned with social and economic justice in the
Americas have fought to defeat CAFTA.
The National Family Farm Coalition salutes the massive organized
grassroots opposition to CAFTA. We thank those in the House and
the Senate who stood up to the corporate lobbyists and voted against
CAFTA, thereby truly representing the interests of America’s
working people, including farmers and ranchers.
The multinational corporations shouldn’t take too much time
to swill their victory champagne, because the fight continues. The
National Family Farm Coalition will work with our partners all around
the world to defeat the agribusiness corporate agenda of the World
Trade Organization (WTO) and other unfair trade agreements.